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Newborn sets millage

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

The Newborn Town Council has approved a millage rate of 1.935, the same as for the prior fiscal year. The millage rate is set for July through June, to be on target with the county's schedule, though the town operates on a calendar year.

The town is expected to collect $18,656 in property taxes for tax year 2011. There was some discussion at a recent council meeting about adopting the rollback rate of 2.133 mills to generate nearly $2,000 more in revenue, but the council opted to stay with the current rate, which was approved unanimously.

In other news, Planning and Zoning Board Chairman W.B. Bean reported to the council at the July 11 meeting and July 18 work session that there are numerous code violations taking place in town, from abandoned vehicles to commercial vehicles on residential property to racing of motorcycles.

Bean also stated there are changes that need to be made to the Zoning Code and Code of Ordinances, including adding an ordinance to address unkempt yards.

The town does not have a code enforcement officer and instead depends on deputy sheriffs with Newton County to enforce its ordinances. However, the town no longer has a deputy sheriff assigned specifically to Newborn, which presents an enforcement problem. Mayor Roger Sheridan said the council will be looking into these matters and will make a decision on how to address them in the coming weeks.

Finally, Sheridan said the Dollar General planned for Ga. Highway 142 next to Bess's Place is ready to be constructed, as a permit from the Georgia Department of Transportation has been received to construct a deceleration lane. Sheridan said he hopes the store will be completed and opened by the end of the year.

"(Citizens) ask about it every day," he said of the proposed store, which will be the town's only retail option except for a liquor and convenience store. "We call it our little Wal-Mart."